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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Proponent of Cubicles

I don't care what anyone says - I am in favor of cubicles.

Ever since I abandoned my childhood dreams of various careers that earn NO money (seriously, I had three career plans and ALL of them pay horribly) I have wanted to be a cubicle drone. While some see the comic strip Dilbert and think it's a horrible existence to live in a little box typing away and slaving for "the man" - I see it as a great idea and something to strive to attain in the future. Office Space was a great movie about a horrible business and horrible office with horrible bosses - but the cubicles still seemed to interest me.

I guess it's the comfort level for me. I'm not used to wide open spaces. I have a four-room two-bedroom apartment and rarely am I seen outside of my tiny room. Give me a computer, somewhere to sit, and somewhere to sleep (if it's my bedroom, not necessarily my cube - though a nap zone would be nice) and I'm a moderately-content guy. Even better is the ownership of the cubicle. The desk is mine to organize however I choose. The walls are mine to pin up things to keep me motivated or entertained. And my time is my own.

I know that my ideal cubicle situation involves an ideal WORK/BUSINESS situation, but it's my dream and that's what I want. I want a job where I can work in my cubicle at my own pace - which is faster when I have less distractions of people interrupting my work to give me different work. The ideal is having a set list of tasks to complete every day/week and allowing me to complete the work by the deadlines without interference. The cubicle would enhance that awesomeness, allowing me the peace and quiet I need to calculate and figure out new shortcuts and ways to improve on things. It's usually in my downtime between projects that I'm the most creative and able to piece together things to create new solutions to existing problems. Plus, earlier in the day is better than later in the day, but there have been tons of studies proving that already.

Employees are most productive and more creative in the mornings than in the afternoons.

So why the sudden rant about cubicles? Well, my office has been remodeled once again. Luckily I was not moved in the process, but the surroundings were moved and it's affecting everything yet again. I had about two months of peace and comfort with a cubicle in my time here with this company. We moved to a new office, with a big room of cubicles (though with shorter walls than I'd prefer) and I shared my cube with another worker. Cubicle-sharing isn't that bad, in my opinion - especially when his schedule meant he only worked one shift and I had the whole place to myself for the other shift. I had my own desk I could decorate with my own bric-a-brac and a bulletin wall where I could pin things on my half.

And then I got moved to the other room. I had a window desk with a great view, but in one big room. They put up some spare cubicle walls to separate the two halves of the room, so I had one wall next to me where I could still pin things up, but it wasn't the same. I was in a half-room with three other people and no privacy. Even worse, our room connects to the boss's office. You don't have to read Scott Adams's book (the creator of Dilbert) to understand that proximity to the boss's office is directly correlated with the number of times you're asked to work on a project.

Today, things stepped down yet another notch. I entered the office to find that our room had been remodeled yet again. Our wall divider is now gone, and has been replaced with several extra desks, a few of which directly face our desks. Privacy is gone. I found a pile of my wall decorations placed on my desk, which had previously occupied the now-missing cubicle wall. I no longer have any remnants left of my brief life as a cubie.

I miss my cubicle.

Do you have a cube? Are you a cubie? Don't you wish you had a cubicle? Share!

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